CCEA approves Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs today gave the nod for more than doubling the amount for construction of individual household latrines from the existing Rs.4600 to nearly 10,000 rupees and also scrapped the distinction of BPL/APL families to achieve the total sanitation target in the country in the next 10 years. The Total Sanitation Campaign will now be known as Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan. Briefing the media about the CCEA decision here, Union Rural Development Minister and the Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation Shri Jairam Ramesh said, Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Punjab have demanded fair allocation for achieving the sanitation goals. At present out of Rs.3400 allocated for individual toilets, Centre gives Rs. 2100, State’s share is Rs.1000 and Rs. 300 comes from the beneficiaries, while Rs.1200 is leveraged through MGNREGA works as was approved last year. But now after the Cabinet approval, Centre has to dole out Rs.3200, States have to give Rs.1400 and families have to provide Rs.900, while MGNREGA funds will be to the tune of Rs.4500. Shri Ramesh informed that Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh laid stress on linking sanitation programme in 200 such districts, where the problem of mal-nutrition is acute saying there is a close link between lack of hygiene and mal-nutrition. The Minister also informed that the Planning Commission has approved Rs.36,000 crore for drinking water and sanitation programmes in the 12th Five Year Plan as opposed to Rs.7,800 crore allocated in the 11th Plan. The Cabinet also made toilet construction mandatory for availing funds for Indira Aawas Yojana henceforth, while the Minister added that allocation for IAY will also be raised from existing Rs.45,000 to Rs.75,000 by end of July. Shri Ramesh said, for the first time solid and liquid waste management has been approved for the villages on the model of towns and cities and Gram Panchayats will get from 7 lakh rupees to 20 lakh rupees for the same depending on the size of the population. The Minister said, Sikkim has become the first Nirmal Rajya( that is hundred percent open defecation free) and this year Kerala and Himachal Pradesh will also follow suit, while Haryana has resolved to achieve the target in next two years, Punjab in next five years, and the rest of the states in 10 years time.